Sunday, February 06, 2011

Seasonal Challenges

Holiday has arrived again for me, perhaps all too soon. I am nearing the end of Lost Illusions and I find it to be Balzac at his most incendiary, rivalling Cousin Bette, though Coralie's fate appeared to be a convenient device. The details of 19th Century journalism are harrowing, though perhaps only a more naked form of what presently constitutes the Fourth Estate.

Samizdat has undertaken the latest from David Mitchell and the first three chapters have proved rich and evocative. I am still massaging The Vivisector, though as someone on goodreads noted, Patrick White appears to hate equally all of his characters.

I picked up The Collected Letters from Saul Bellow today at IUS and I think such will be engaging on this long, frigid week. Levi Stahl has issued a challenge and while I would relish the opportunity to address Boccaccio, I was thinking, instead, that given my aversion to short story collections, I should propose to read a story a night from Carson McCullers until completion and then move on to Nabokov and, possibly, Maupassant.


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